Incumbent representative seeks re-election to Congress, says the vote comes down to trust and W.Va. values

Alex James , Reporter

U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall was born in Beckley, West Virginia, and has been representative for the third congressional district for 36 years. He is the ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is seeking re-election to Congress.

Rahall said this election comes down to trust and he has worked hard every day for West Virginia.

“This election,” Rahall said, “comes down to who you can trust: an individual that has been there working everyday for many years on behalf of our people—protecting our coal miners’ safety, health and pension benefits, working to protect our coal jobs—or an individual that will be controlled by New York billionaires who want to control Congress on their own and don’t have West Virginia values at heart.”

A major topic during this election is coal and what Rahall calls the overreach of the EPA. Rahall said, if elected, he will continue to fight for coal by working across party lines.

“We need to continue to fight the overreach, overzealous agenda of the EPA and I’ve done that reaching across party aisles and the House of Representatives,” Rahall said. “Working with my collegues on the Republican majority side to pass anti-EPA bills one after another through the House of Representatives, and that’s what we need to do in order to send the EPA a message that what they’re doing is having a chilling effect across the coal fields. I get the anger that’s out there against this administration, they’re not on our side on coal, but Nick Rahall is and always has been.”

Rahall also said he believes in increasing funding to programs that help students receive higher education, and that education should be affordable to everyone.

“We need to stop the cut-and-gut agenda of the right-wing republicans, and those that fund my opponent that will do away with student loans,” Rahall said. “That will do away with the Pell Grant or Perkins Loan programs. Those programs have been cut, we need to restore funding and increase funding. We need to bring down the interest rates students pay on loans and we need to do everything we can to bring down the price of tuition.”

Rahall said he supports the Affordable Care Act, but still believes many aspects of the program need to be improved.

“I supported the Affordable Care Act and I still do,” Rahall said. “I do not feel that it is a perfect law; I’ve said that numerous times and have voted to make amendments. I am not for throwing the baby out from the bathwater, like eliminating the discrimination against preexisting conditions. I’m not for throwing young children off their health policy of their parents, and I’m for the lowering of prescription drugs cost for senior citizen all made possible by the affordable care act. We didn’t cut any Medicare for anybody, but we ended a lot of the duplications and waste fraud abuse.”

Nick Rahall is the incumbent representative for West Virginia’s Third Congressional District and hopes to be re-elected Tuesday for his seventh term. Rahall is challenged by Republican Evan Jenkins.

Alex James can be contacted at james142@marshall.edu.

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